Working From Home: Trials and Tribulations
Making IT Work
I have a job. In fact, I have a couple of them. And, on top of those, I have income streams that essentially amount to a work at home job. I have a couple of those too. Perhaps the biggest feat when you work from home is getting over the discipline threshold. What do I mean by that? If you are not a list person, or someone who beats yourself silly sticking to a timeline…working from home can be quite tedious and essential unproductive.
I am a big list maker. This helps me visualize what I need to accomplish in a short period of time and then to stay on track in getting those items done. If I don’t put Hubpages on my list, for instance. I don’t write for Hubpages. Do I make money with Hubpages? Uh, no actually I don’t. Some people do. Since I don’t, Hubpages doesn’t make it to my list very often. Lately, I have been working on another project and Hubpages has become part of the other project. So, it occasionally makes it to my list more often because it has been tied to other profit seeking ventures.
Which brings me to my second point, the items that make it to my list have either a profit yield or a high importance ranking for some other reason. Basically, prioritizing your to-do list is a major benefit. I learned a long time ago to get everything on the list and then go back and label my A items, B items and C items. I was taught that the C items would probably never get done so you might as well just remove them from the list. I didn’t believe it so I added the C items, and unfortunately, that rule of thumb actually does hold true. If I really need those C items to get done even though they don’t make me any money or add any value to the other things that I am doing…I force myself to accomplish a C item or two before I am allowed to tackle that A item.
It is really about getting creative with the time and space that you have available. I like to game on-line as well as off-line. Between 2 jobs that I get a regular paycheck for, and 2 other jobs that I sometimes get a check for, and then creative avenues that I hope someday to get a check for…this doesn’t really leave much free time. Did I mention that I also work out, and do personal coaching, and sleep on occasion too?
What is my list…about lists?
1. Create a to-do list
2. Rank those items by highest profit yield
3. Create a schedule that eliminates blocks of unworkable home-time
4. Plug in other home projects to the time line creatively
5. Multi-task some of the home based projects
I have explained a bit about the first two items already. My schedule for the month usually looks like some kind of Picasso work of art. I space things out the best I can and try not to shave my sleep time down to less than 5 hours in a 24 hour period. Sometimes, I lose that battle when I start playing unscheduled games.
The last two items on my list takes into account the free time left in my schedule. I then start to look creatively at the time I have left. I know if I have my computer that I can get wi-fi access at numerous locations in the city. I can do my lunch or dinner out and complete other items on my agenda while I have my lunch. If I have a 15 minute break at work, I might be able to get onto WebAnswers and answer a couple of questions, or ask a couple of questions, or just even make a list in a notebook of questions I need to ask later. I actually do make money on WebAnswers so I like to put some time in on that each week so the activity levels continue to yield a small income. I also do real estate. With my computer in hand, I can search for properties and email those to some of my clients while I am enjoying my omelet from Café Patachou, along with a nice latte.
It might sound like this is a piece of cake. Maybe it is for some other person, for me…I feel like I am pushed 90% of the time to be at the top of my game. I only get off of my regular jobs 2 nights a week early enough to get to the Gym. That means I only get to work out about an hour twice a week. Last night, I was reading a book that is due back to the library while in the sauna and on the bike. After the work out, I went to Steak N Shake because it is open all night and read for another hour. When I got home, I needed to unwind which meant half hour playing hearts on the computer and I also had to get a chapter I had written for a book out of my email and added to my timeline. This is a typical evening for me. I was perhaps a bit more pushed since I have just returned from playing games downtown for 5 days at GenCon 2011.
Speaking of GenCon 2011, while I did play several games, I also submitted an offer on a piece of property for my real estate company. I outlined the story idea which involves Hubpages, attended several writers seminars, shopped, walked, ate, worked out once, and wrote in my journal. Point being, that while I wasn’t at the “day job” I was still working the entire week-end. And, I add in GenCon because it is important in another way. While I am running full tilt most of the time, it is important to take stock of what is happening around you and to have some fun. I was playing with my friends this week-end, in the midst of this chaos, as well as entertaining myself by learning. And, the week-end is a tax write off because I was working during the event and attending educational seminars. That is another fringe consideration when planning your to-do list, does this item benefit me in some other way: Personal Growth, Family Time, Tax Write Off.
Keeping up on the priorities for your work life also mean keeping on top of the priorities for your personal life and health as well. If you don’t have a peaceful state of being and a pleasant home life then you have missed the point of working altogether. Perhaps the most powerful ally I have in getting to my projects and getting them done in some timely manner is my ability to be creative with my time. I enjoy the work that I do and I enjoy being with myself. Since I am always with myself and can’t seem to get away from me, I make it a point to bring a great attitude into everything I am doing. Being one of your biggest fans can be a huge boost to morale and this in turn keeps you motivate to keep plugging away at your task list. If you can’t enjoy your own company, at least find “things” that you enjoy to keep yourself occupied. If you haven’t accomplished either one of these, you are doomed to failure. If you don’t fail, then your life will be miserable. There is simply no point in living a life that isn’t fully engaging you at all times when you have so much to choose from on what we call this planet Earth.